Starting a new hobby is a great way to shake things up in your life and if you’ve decided to take up horseback riding, then you may have found a new and exhilarating activity! Riding horses is something that has been done for ages and it’s a great way to challenge yourself physically and mentally. Like with any hobby, activity or sport, you’ll want to spend a lot of time improving your skills and horseback riding is something that you can do for a lifetime but you have to start somewhere!
When you just begin, safety is always first and a priority because no one wants to be injured. It should be understood that horses are large animals that are extremely strong and handling them properly is a must. Dan Valentine, an equestrian rider trainer, suggests that all beginners have high-quality horse riding gear that encompasses boots with heels and a minimum attire of jeans. A boot with good traction and a heel of at least 1″ is recommended to keep your footing from sliding around on the stirrup. Additionally, never wear shorts or capri pants because your skin will rub up against the saddle and it will be uncomfortable. And last but not least, wear a certified helmet for head protection.
Setting up an initial training day involves contact with a professional to help you learn the ropes of horseback riding. Make sure you understand that riding is more about balance than gripping the horse with your legs and knowing how to sit squarely on the saddle is key. This also involves moving your body with the horse and essentially syncing up their movements to make riding a fluid activity. Also, when riding a horse, always look where you are going because horses are very adept to small movements and if your body has the intentions of going a certain direction, your horse will read that direction.
If you’ve ever seen movies of people riding horses and have noticed the way they hold the reins, some over-exaggerate the correct method. You’ll want to make sure you hold the reins evenly and avoid too much slack because it’s all about controlling the direction of the horse. If your reins are too loose and long, it’ll be harder to make corrections in the ride. And on the other hand, holding the reins too tight will hurt the horses’ mouth, so be sure to have the proper balance.
Becoming a professional horseback rider doesn’t happen overnight and takes time and practice to master the skill. With dedication and commitment, you’ll be on your way to improving your ride and enjoying the new hobby, just be patient.